Wudang Spear Form By Erle Montaigue Thursday, June 06, 2002
For health, you cannot go past either the Wudang Broadsword form or the Wudang Spear form. And if we were allowed to walk around with such weapons, you could not get a more deadly weapon other than a gun. As you might already know, I have two rulers in my body that tell me how well my forms and other training methods work in the health area. One of these is diabetes, caused from my misguided youth! I am able to measure my blood sugar level, then do whatever form I am testing, then measure it again to see how well each individual form works to lower my blood sugar level. This is not only for diabetics but also for people who do not have any problem (yet) with sugar. The more sugar you burn up, the less your pancreas is taxed and less insulin is pumped into your blood. Too much insulin destroys your heart muscle! Hence diabetics being susceptible to heart attack etc because of most of us actually have too much insulin in the blood because it is not working correctly. So if you are able to get the unused glucose used up so that it is not stored as fat then you are much better off. And yes, sugar WILL make you fat as any excess is turned into fat and stored in your fat cells, so you have to not only look at how much fat you are eating but also at the amount of sugar.
Another interesting feature of the wudang spear form, is that it will work your muscles greatly causing more HGH (human growth hormone) to be produced around 2 to 3 days later in order to heal those damaged muscles. In doing so, the HGH uses up the stored glucose in repairing the damaged and worked tissue and builds extra muscle to cope with the extra workload. So, you will lose weight as you sleep after you practice this spear form.
I am able to get my BSL down by around 2 to 3 points (using the European method rather than the American. The European and Australian is metric and is measured in MMOL; millimoles or 1000 molecules per litre of blood). A good walk for around 30 to 40 minutes will bring it down by around 1.5 to 2 points. The beauty of the spear from is that it only takes a few minutes to perform. And afterwards, you can really feel that every muscle in your body has done a good workout.
The spear form is based in dim-mak and fa-jing as all of the Wudang stuff is, including Taijiquan. In fact, I smile when I now read many new books such as the 'Lost Taijiquan Classics' and find that they are now saying that Taijiquan is indeed a dim-mak art! Something that I have been saying for around 30 years and for which I was laughed at way back! Being a dim-mak art, it makes use of very fine spearhead movements to attack deadly points around the neck and body. It does however; still have the beautiful larger open movements that are so good for health. So it takes some time to master the upper levels of this spear form. Most people find that simply getting the basic moves correct requires some practice and soreness of the legs and upper body, so much so that some often find it difficult to walk the next day!
I learnt this wudang spear form many years ago using a piece of wood with Chang Yiu-chun but was never confident in teaching it until now as my own training had to come up to a certain high level before this could be achieved. I now feel that I have trained enough in order to put the whole form with applications down onto tape and also to teach it to my students. This I have begun and the finished product should be ready by the end of August 2002.
Yang Family Spear Form?
Many ask me if this is the Original Yang Family Spear form. I have to answer no to this. The so-called Yang Family spear form to my mind is only a fragment of the original Wudang Spear that Yang Lu-ch'an must have learnt. However, I will say that I believe it to be the pre-cursor to the Yang Spear form. Somewhere along the way, the Yang spear form has lost its beauty and deadly intent because of successive generations either watering it down so that outsiders would not get the real deal, or they have simply forgotten the original Wudang spear in preference for the easier Yang Spear form. Either way, I feel good knowing in my own mind that I am training in a weapon form that Yang Lu-ch'an himself must have first learnt. I have never seen a Chen Family spear form, however, I should imagine that there are also elements of the Original Wudang spear in there somewhere.
Training Methods Specifically Designed for Spear and Broadsword
There are many training methods for these two weapons, some of which I have included on the advanced Broadsword series. However, there is one method that is the ultimate for training all of the correct muscle groups for spear. And that is a version of single pushing hands. In fact I just taught this method at Camp 2002.
This single push hands method involves three ways to use the arms when pushing and defending and each method trains a select group of muscles for spear use. Firstly, as I have said on so many occasions, any push hands should NEVER be for competition to see who is stronger and better at pushing! We use push hands as an excellent training tool only, where each partner is only there to help his or her partner up the ladder, not to defeat he or she!
In order to understand the method, it is important that you have a grounding in the advanced or original way of push hands using the 'power stance'. So it will do you no good at all if you are used to doing the silly type of push hands used in competitions etc with big open stances etc. When others who do these stupid competitions come to me and they wish to do some push hands (to see if they can push me over no doubt), I see them get into a big low stance. I immediately tell then to stand up with hardly any bend in their legs, just standing there with no hope of using their huge leg muscles! They do not like this and are all at sea as they now have to rely solely upon good posture and p'eng.
The first method is simply the more normal p'eng type of push hands where the defending arm is held in a p'eng position with the fingers of the hand pointing back to the opposite shoulder. Your partner provides a weight onto your arm and pushes directly into the centre of your chest. Your weight is on your front leg to begin with. Your partner provides enough power to get you moving. (Photo No. 1). You should take this power until you can no longer hold him off, then change your weight to the rear foot turning your waist to your right (assuming that you have begun with the right foot and hand forward) thus taking his power away. Always holding the p'eng arm without having your wrist crash in. (Photo No. 2). You now push back onto your partner's arm and it continues. This will exercise all of the correct muscle groups for the jabbing moves etc.
Photo No. 1 and Photo No. 2
The second method is where we still hold the p'eng arm, but as he pushes and we are holding the power, we turn the wrist towards us and make like we are digging the fingers upward. (Stick hand up horse's arse), (Photo No. 3). We then hold that power and as we sit back, take his power up and over to our right. (Photo No 4). We then turn our own palm over and re-push and it continues. This method exercises all of the correct muscle groups for the Downward type of attacks with a slap step. (Yes Axel, there is indeed a slap step!).
Photo No. 3 and Photo No. 4
The third method is a lovely one in that as we are pushed, we hold our arm in a hinge type of posture as in (Photo No. 5). Do not allow the arm to bend any more that I have shown in the photo. When the power is being applied, you will feel a whole new group of muscles that you have not previously exercised come into play. I was only teaching this method to my children this morning and although they are all very good at push hands and very powerful, when we tried this hinge method they could only carry on for a relatively short time as all the muscles in their backs became sore.
Photo No. 5 and Photo No. 6
Again, you hold this posture with the weight on your arm as you sit back and take the power over to your right. (Photo No. 6) and the pushing continues. This method exercises all of the centrifugal type of movements.
The three methods can happen at any time as it is up to you as the person being pushed to dictate as to which method you use. The pusher only have to apply a pressure into your chest each time and you direct that weight to wherever you wish it to go using whatever method you choose. So your partner might use the upper method, then he pushes and you might use the lower method, then he might use the middle method etc.
Photo No. 7 shows the 'Snake Creeps Down' posture from the Spear Form which is violently dropped into from a standing position.
Photo No. 7
The off-shoot of practicing this spear form is that your empty handed stuff will increase dramatically as will your flexibility and weight loss! However, if you do not wish to lose weight, you will actually gain weight in muscle. The Wudang Spear from is indeed the king of weapons.
Wudang Spear Posture Names:
1/. Preparation/Qigong 2/. Fishes in Eight 3/. Stepping Carefully Across the Stream 4/. Attack with a Long Spear 5/. Casting to Fish 6/. Step to Change Direction and Attack the Points 7/. Stepping Carefully Across the Stream 8/. Casting to Fish 9/. Fishes in Eight 10/. Slipping the Block to Percussion the Points 11/. Shoot Horse rider 12/. Shoot Horse Rider 13/. Tying the Goat 14/. Sweep the Thousand Foe 15/. Half Wheel 16/. Squat and Attack 17/. Squat & Attack 18/. Thunder Step to Attack Centre 19/. Attack the Points 20/. Casting to Fish 21/. Remove Helmet/Head 22/. Directly Attack the Points 23/. Serpent Flies in the Sky 24/. Whirl Wind Hands 25/. Whirl Wind Hands 26/. Break the Root to Pull the Lotus 27/. Kill the Serpent 28/. Finish